The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of melatonin on hepatic lipid metabolism in hamsters with high-fat diet (HFD)-induced dyslipidemia. Male Syrian hamsters were kept on either a chow control (C) or HFD for four weeks. After four weeks, animals fed the HFD were further randomly assigned to four groups: high-fat only (P), melatonin low-dosage (L), medium-dosage (M), and high-dosage (H) groups. The L, M, and H groups, respectively, received 10, 20, and 50 mg/kg/day of a melatonin solution, while the P and C groups received the ethanol vehicle. After eight weeks of the intervention, results showed that a low dose of melatonin significantly reduced HFD-induced hepatic cholesterol and triglycerides; decreased plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; and increased plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (p < 0.05). In addition, melatonin markedly decreased activities of the hepatic lipogenic enzymes, acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) and fatty acid synthase (FAS) (p < 0.05), and elevated the relative hepatic carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1α expression in hamsters with HFD-induced hyperlipidemia. Consequently, melatonin reduced activities of the hepatic lipogenic enzymes, ACC and FAS. In summary, chronic melatonin administration improved HFD-induced dyslipidemia and hepatic lipid accumulation in Syrian hamsters with HFD-induced dyslipidemia, which might have occurred through inhibiting the lipogenesis pathway.
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